Altus AFB AAFES Revamps Store

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The Altus Air Force Base Army and Air Force Exchange Service began revamping their store in February 2017 and are scheduled to finish in July. There will be changes to the main store as well as the Express, including but not limited to increased sports nutrition products, healthy food options, health and beauty supplies and baby supplies.

“We are adjusting the product lines to meet customer requests and needs. There’s no renovation happening, but you’re going to see a reduction in some of the product lines that just don’t move,” said Daniel Wise, AAFES general manager for Fort Sill, Sheppard AFB and Altus AFB. “We’re not reducing anything that people are actually buying.”

Another goal of the revamping process is to make the Express section part of the Exchange available to all personnel on base, not just military members.

“Our civilians working on base will be able to come in and easily see what they can and can’t purchase,” said Wise. “The goal is that everything in the Express, except alcohol and tobacco products will be available for purchase by anybody on base including our food. Everything in the main troop store however will be for the Department of Defense cardholders.”

The space allotted for food and snack items is set to double from four to eight linear feet, allowing for a larger variety and more selection. With this growth, more healthy food options are being incorporated into the selection for the health-conscious members on base. The healthy food line includes options such as fresh salads, sandwiches and fruit cups.

There are a number of benefits to people who shop at the Exchange including tax free purchases, the Price Match Program, Military Star Card benefits, and a shuttle service that runs between Fort Sill, Sheppard AFB and Altus AFB. Additionally, the main goal of AAFES is to provide dividends to the base’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation program.

Some of the MWR programs that benefit from AAFES dividends are day care programs, the pool, golf course, library, and fitness center.

“Every time you spend money here, it comes back here. At the beginning of the year, we actually have a commitment to MWR that says ‘this is how much money we’re going to give you’. They have to build their budget on that, so we have to come up with that money,” said Wise.

If AAFES has a good year for profits, a large portion of that is given to MWR and the rest of it is divided up into very small team bonuses for everybody in AAFES. The rest of it goes to construction and renovation projects.

“We don’t use tax dollars at all. Every time we renovate, build or upgrade, we pay for it out of the operational costs. So, your patronage helps build you a new store or gives you a new snack avenue,” said Wise. “That’s where that money goes. It goes right back into the Exchange or it goes to MWR.”

Another benefit of shopping at the exchange is the Price Match Program, which ensures customers always pay the lowest price. Customers can easily take advantage of this program by simply informing their cashier of other deals and prices going on at other retailers. If the difference is $10 or greater, or the deal seems too good to be true, the cashier will need to verify the price either by calling up the other store or by other means of proof, such as a flier.

If the Altus AFB Exchange doesn’t have a particular item in stock, customers have the ability to order it through one of the employees or through shopmyexchange.com.

The Military Star Card Program is the Airman and Soldier’s card that provides extra support and benefits to anyone who uses it.

“The card is capped by congress in what we can charge in the way of interest. Right now it’s at 11.24 percent, which is the lowest standard card interest rate available. We give credit lines as low as $50 to help Airmen and Soldiers just starting out to build credit,” said Wise. “If an Airman gets in financial distress, we can lock down the card and work payment plants out and interest accrual can be minimized. This is a support card for the active duty member and retiree.”

The Military Star Card also has two lines of credit, a military clothing line and a retail line. This provides additional benefits to Airmen because the military clothing line has no interest. There’s no cost to the card and it comes with many benefits aimed at helping service members.

For more information on these changes or the benefits of shopping at the exchange, stop by or call (580) 482 – 8733.